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Libya: Haftar, Sarraj forces discuss security situation

March 4, 2019 at 9:25 am

(From Left) Libyan National Army’s Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, Libya’s parliament speaker Saleh Issa, Libya’s Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord Fayez Al-Sarraj, and President of the High Council of State of Libya Khaled Mechri in Paris, on 29 May 2018 [Etienne Laurent/AFP/ Getty Images]

Representatives of the General Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and Head of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Al-Sarraj have held a series of meetings in neighbouring Tunisia to discuss the security situation in the capital, Tripoli, a parliamentary source close to Haftar revealed.

The source told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that Haftar now believes that storming Tripoli militarily is “impossible” after several Western countries explicitly warned him against the move and called on him to consult with the GNA on the situation in Tripoli.

“Italy, the UK and the US support a French-Russian proposal which is supported by several Arab countries to keep the capital Tripoli away from fighting under the protection of the GNA forces because it hosts sovereign institutions like the Central Bank and the Oil Corporation,” the source said, noting that a recent meeting between Haftar and Al-Sarraj indicates that Haftar has “reluctantly” accepted the proposal.

Libya: Sarraj calls for national conference before elections 

In a joint statement on Saturday France, Britain, Italy and the US welcomed the agreements reached between Haftar and Al-Sarraj during meeting held in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi and reiterated their rejection of a military solution.

A US embassy official in Tunis, Julian Hadas, recently reiterated his country’s position which rejects military operations in the capital, Tripoli. “Washington rejects any military operations in the capital, Tripoli, under any pretext, and from any party,” he said, adding that his country “believes the only solution to the Libyan crisis is through holding general elections to end the transitional phase, and to unify the security and military institutions, as well as put all oil facilities under the National Oil Corporation authority in Tripoli.”